A Million dollar cage

2024, Documentary

Release Year: 2024
Country: United States
Director: Kyndra Kennedy
Producer: Represent Justice and Kyna Media Films


Kent Mendoza is one of the thousands of young men who spent time incarcerated in Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall instead of receiving the support that would have met his needs and helped him feel like he belonged. Now, he’s an advocate for system-impacted youth so they can access the resources he didn’t have.

A Million Dollar Cage follows Kent and the youth he mentors as they fight for the implementation of alternatives to youth incarceration that the state of California promised. They tell their stories of being formerly incarcerated young people who are now finding their voices as advocates for a Reimagined Youth Justice in Los Angeles County. The film follows them as they work to challenge public perception of system-impacted young people, face the pushback from county residents who mistakenly believe alternatives to incarceration will bring crime to their neighborhoods, and ensure that young people are allowed the opportunity to thrive.



About the directors

Kyndra Kennedy is a writer, director and co-founder of KYNA Media Films with cinematographer and editor, Kenneth Cuadrado. She is a Los Angeles native, who attended UC Berkeley and studied screenwriting in Paris, France at the American University of Paris. After working in the IT software industry and longing to be in a more creative field, she decided to take a risk and pursue filmmaking full-time.
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